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Dominic Thompson

Assistant Professor in Psycholinguistics, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

PhD Psychology (University of Glasgow, UK); MLitt Linguistics by research (Newcastle University, UK); BA Linguistics (Newcastle University, UK).

After completing my PhD in Psychology at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, University of Glasgow, I moved to the University of Nottingham in 2014. I spent two years as a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology, where I worked on an ESRC-funded project awarded to Dr Ruth Filik and Prof Hartmut Leuthold. Since 2016, I have been Assistant Professor, teaching and researching in psychology, psychophysiology, and language.

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Teaching Summary

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules, both on-site and via distance learning.

I specialise in psycholinguistics, which takes a psychological perspective on how we acquire language, how we store and organise it in our minds, and how it interacts with other cognitive systems. I strive to make all my sessions inclusive and engaging, so I'm always keen to build discussions around student input and student examples. Oh, and you should probably expect to encounter 'occasional' videogame references :)

My key on-site modules include:

  • - Psychology of Language
  • - Language and the Mind
  • - Language Development
  • - Studying Language
  • - Dissertation (individual research project)

My key Distance Learning modules include:

  • - Psycholinguistics 1
  • - Calls, Speech, Writing, and Sign Language
  • - Data-collection and Ethics
  • - Dissertation (individual research project)
  • - Individual Project 'Hexapod'

Research Summary

I'm interested in how language and emotion affect each other, as well as the ways we enhance meaning in digital communication such as with emojis and other creative features. To investigate these, I… read more

Selected Publications

I am happy to supervise PhD students who are interested in psychology, psychophysiology, and language. I especially welcome topics related to:

  • - emotional response and emotional processing
  • - digital and online communication
  • - language and behaviour in videogames

Methods supervised include:

  • - psychophysiology (EDA, EMG, or EEG)
  • - eye-tracking or pupillometry
  • - priming
  • - behavioural and decision making tasks

Current PhD students

  • - Russell Cass (2022 - )
  • - Nana He (2022 - )
  • - Denny Vlaeva (2019 - )
  • - Lucy Peacock (2017 - )
  • - Meredith Cicerchia (2016 - )

Completed PhD students

  • - Pablo Aros (awarded 2023)
  • - Daniel Edmondson (awarded 2022)
  • - Raya Harbi (awarded 2021)
  • - Marianna Kyriacou (awarded 2019)

Current Research

I'm interested in how language and emotion affect each other, as well as the ways we enhance meaning in digital communication such as with emojis and other creative features. To investigate these, I use methodologies from psychology and psycholinguistics - including EDA, EMG, EEG, and eye-tracking.

In my research, I have used EDA (electrodermal activity) and EMG (electromyography) to examine the impact of sarcastic or ironic messages in comparison to literal equivalents. This revealed that using sarcasm or irony can reduce emotional impact - such as making criticism feel less hurtful, while still delivering that critical feedback.

In a recent study, I used EEG (Electroencephalography) to investigate the ways sarcasm is intended and interpreted. Brain imaging data reveal that, while people expect the speaker may intend sarcasm to be both hurtful and amusing, the target of the sarcasm will only feel the hurtfulness.

I am currently working with industry partners, including the BBC and the videogame developer Playtonic.

School of English

Trent Building
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5900
email: english-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk